2019 Best & Brightest: Shane Phillipps, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Shane Phillipps

Georgia Tech, Scheller College of Business

“I am an ambitious young professional with an insatiable curiosity and love for life.”

Fun fact about yourself: My parents named me after a fictional gun-slinging cowboy from a 1953 George Stevens western film!

Hometown Kingston, Jamaica

High School: Choate Rosemary Hall

Major: B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance

Favorite business course: My favorite class thus far at Scheller College has been Management of Financial Institutions with Professor Gary Jones. Professor Jones taught us how to do a deep-dive analysis of both sectors and individual companies while also placing an emphasis on public speaking. However, my favorite aspect of the class was that we had very high-profile guest speakers such as executives from Fortune 500 companies and high-level financial institutions.

Extracurricular activities, community work and leadership roles during College:

Extracurricular Activities

Georgia Tech Investments Committee, President and Senior Managing Director (June 2018 – Present)

  • Served as president of a 100+ member organization focused on investing a $1.4 million solely student-managed fund
  • Beat S&P 500 returns by 2.73% during the first six months as president
  • Led investment discussions and acted as one of eight voting directors

Director of Mentorship (January 2018 – May 2018)

  • Taught a 250+ person prospective analyst class about accounting, economics, valuation, and different finance and investing theories
  • Selected a 30-person analysts class by assessing prospective members via networking sessions, mock pitches, and a final exam

Industrials Sector Head (August 2017 – December 2017) 

  • Managed and guided eight analysts in generating investment ideas and pitches for securities in the industrials sector
  • Evaluated investments using DCFs, comparable company analysis and research from both Bloomberg terminals and analyst reports

Sigma Phi Epsilon, Vice President of Communications (November 2017 – December 2018)

  • Led a cabinet of six members to manage alumni, parent and campus relations, along with our website and social media platforms
  • Initiated and planned events such as alumni networking events, mentorship programs and homecoming receptions

SEO Career New York, Trainee (Pre-Internship) (December 2017 – May 2018)

  • Completed over 100 hours of online and in-person training covering technical skills including MS Excel, PowerPoint, and basic accounting and finance, in addition to professional development skills relevant to Investment Banking

Scheller Business Ambassadors, Ambassador (November 2016 – May 2018)

  • Promoted community development within the Scheller College of Business through organized programs and initiatives
  • Organized and hosted formal events and tours to assist in the recruitment of prospective undergraduate students

Georgia Tech Department of Housing, Resident Assistant (2017) 

  • Coordinated regular floor and building-wide events in order to foster a sense of community for 500+ undergraduate residents
  • Managed administrative tasks and responded to emergencies such as fires, building malfunctions and extreme roommate conflict

AIESEC, Sales Manager, Finance Committee Member (October 2015 – December 2016)

  • Ranked first in the U.S. out of all AIESEC chapters for a number of Incoming Global Community Development Program intern exchanges
  • Marketed and sold product to local NGOs resulting in the establishment of contracts for 17 international interns and 3 companies valued at a total of approximately $10,000
  • Assisted in rewriting the contract that established the terms of the Incoming Global Community Development Program at all other AIESEC chapters within the U.S.
  • Worked on a team to allocate an 18-month income of over $44,000 to meet local committee goals
  • Audited financial accounts and documents to ensure validity

Georgia Tech Alternative Service Break, Volunteer (October 2016)

  • Took part in various nature restoration tasks and became immersed in the local Cherokee community

Georgia Tech Greek Affairs, Greek Peer Educator (August 2016)

  • Educated new members of the Greek community on safe practices and general health and well-being

Awards and Honors:

Speer Family Dean’s Scholarship (August 2015 – Present) 

Dean’s List (3.0+) (Every semester)

Faculty’s Honor (4.0+) (Two Semesters)

Where and when did you intern/co-op during your college career?

Credit Suisse, Investment Banking Summer Analyst – New York (June 2018 – August 2018)

  • Supported the family office and hedge fund coverage groups in both maintaining current and

developing new client relationships

  • Created company overviews and valued the equity of a family office to construct the credit

memo for a $1.1 billion direct loan

  • Built a pitch book to introduce family offices to the potential benefits of raising capital using

dividend recapitalizations

  • Screened potential family office acquirers for 3 sell side transactions by analyzing the

characteristics of their pre-existing portfolios

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Investment Banking Summer Analyst – Atlanta (June 2017 – August 2017)

  • Worked in the industrials coverage group providing support for M&A, LevFin, DCM and ECM

pitches and transactions

  • Created extensive financial overviews of both industries and companies using research from

Factset and S&P Capital IQ

  • Screened and analyzed targets for 2 buy-side transactions using EBITDA, enterprise value,

margins, location, products/services, etc.

  • Performed comparable company valuations for potential targets in the building products, and

paper and packaging industries

Southern Company, Business Development Intern – Atlanta (January 2017 – May 2017)

  • Assessed risk to shareholders regarding the $13 billion bankruptcy of Southern Company

contractor, Westinghouse Electric Co.

  • Assisted in building the internal pitch books, DCF and pro forma financials for the $67 million

acquisition of Power Pro-Tech

  • Composed daily reports on utility-related equity and commodity market performances for

use by 400+ professionals

Chartwell, Research Intern – Atlanta (May 2016 – August 2016)

  • Collected data on utility company operations using internal research library, external websites, surveys and utility company contacts
  • Assisted analysts with extracting industry best practices from research in order to communicate practices to clients via research papers, blogs, webinars and conferences
  • Created an outage map view book highlighting the best communication practices of America’s 150 largest utilities

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be moving to New York to work at Credit Suisse as an investment banking analyst. In this role, I will be working with my team to provide companies with access to capital markets and advisory services. Specifically, I will be working within the industrials sector of the bank, which means I will be working with companies in areas such as aerospace and defense, building products, chemicals, paper and packaging, transportation, and more.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor has been Professor Karie Davis-Nozemack who teaches Legal Aspects of Business. The reason she is my favorite professor is that she actually made me ponder for almost a year on whether or not I wanted to switch my major from finance to pre-law. Through her class, she introduced me to a world of opportunities; opportunities through which I could apply my critical thinking and analysis skills at the cross-section of business and law. She is extremely passionate about her work and has the ability to break things down and apply them to real-world situations in a way that not many can. While I have chosen not to further my studies in law, I firmly believe that any student at Scheller who has even a slight interest in the field should take one of her courses.

What do you enjoy most about your business school? My favorite thing about Scheller has always been the fact that we have so many instructors with industry experience. Their ability to incorporate their experience into the classroom setting makes for a much more practical experience for us as students. These are often the teachers who will start off class discussing a current event and how our topics relate to the matter. Moreover, these professors often have held jobs that their students are seeking and can offer invaluable insights and advice. In certain situations, professors are even able to enhance a student’s network by making introductions for them.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have learned from studying business is that I should always maintain the best possible relationship with everyone in my business environment. I primarily focus on my relationships because I enjoy being a friendly person. That being said, I will also acknowledge that relationships can have a profound impact on the trajectory of one’s career path. To clarify, I am referring to relationships with everyone in the hierarchy, not only with superiors. Let’s say, for example, that someone is running late to work and they have forgotten their key card to get into the building. A business person who has always been extremely friendly and kind to the security guard is much more likely to get let in than a business person who has never acknowledged his or her existence.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? For those students who have no idea what they want to major in, they should take an introductory class in every concentration as soon as possible. This will give them an idea of what each field entails and help with their decision. For those students who have a better idea of a specific business-related field that they are interested in, I’d suggest they sign-up for a concentration-related club. I think these clubs are a great way to get exposure and often professional experience without having a job.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What has surprised me most is how important it is for every business to focus on different internal business functions. For example, an accounting firm still needs employees in human resources and operations to run the company, whether or not those services are internal or outsourced. Therefore, for anyone to become a successful leader in the business world, they must at least have a basic understanding of every function there is in business.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…psychology. I have always found the different ways that people make decisions to be extremely interesting. In fact, I often times find myself analyzing both the words and actions of my peers and try to interpret the mindset behind them. I think a part of what drives my interest in the way people think is the fact that I have a very diverse background and have grown up around people with different perspectives. While I did eventually decide to pursue a career in finance, I believe that my intuition for understanding people’s thought processes will play a large role in my success in the business world.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of the most influential people in my decision to pursue business has been Steve Schwarzman, CEO of The Blackstone Group, multi-national private equity and alternative asset management firm. While I have never met Schwarzman, I have followed him in the news and at a young age, read the book King of Capital, which tells the story of how he started Blackstone. What most interested me about Schwarzman’s story was his ability to find an opportunity where others did not see it and to then use that opportunity to create value. For example, the book tells the story of how Schwarzman acquired a chemical maker named Celanese in 2003 at the end of an industrial recession. After a number of streamlining initiatives and several acquisitions, Blackstone was able to sell its position for five times what it had invested. I hope to one day be able to create this kind of value for companies through strategic management and investment.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of the fact that under my management, the Investments Committee’s fund has outperformed the S&P 500 in 2018, a feat which many hedge funds failed to do. While the S&P 500 yielded a return of -4.38% in 2018, most hedge funds only slightly outperformed with an average return of -2%. However, the Investments Committee achieved a return of 2.33% continuing to create value even when markets are moving down.

Which classmate do you most admire? My favorite classmate in my time at Scheller has been my good friend David Ashcom, an aspiring young filmmaker from Milton, Georgia. I once took an investing class with David in which he turned a stock pitch video project into a first-rate emotion provoking film. I first met David at FASET (Georgia Tech’s freshman orientation) only to later find out that he had won an Emmy award before even starting college. David has a deep passion for filmmaking and is currently pursuing a concentration in marketing. He even started his own company, Dash Films, to create videos for a variety of clients. He is a perfect example of how business students at a school known traditionally for engineering are performing in their fields on the highest level.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents have always made it very clear to me that they did not have a lot growing up. In fact, my father once told me that he aims to give me the life that he wishes he could have had growing up. Knowing these factors, it is difficult to not appreciate what my parents do for me and to want to do the same for my loved ones in the future. This desire drives me to work hard and not only strive for my goals but plan out how I will accomplish them. Moreover, my parents also taught me essential lessons early, such as the importance of preparation. For example, my elementary school had an annual sports day at which I would always place in my races. However, I always placed because my father would have me practice the races at home throughout the weeks leading up. These types of lessons have stuck with me and become core aspects of my mindset and work ethic.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • To start a financial institution in Jamaica that will give citizens of lower socioeconomic backgrounds access to loans at an affordable rate.
  • To make it to the final table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

What are your hobbies? Investing, tennis, squash, weight lifting, music festivals, poker, hip-hop music, and fashion.

What made Shane such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Shane ranks among the very best students that I have taught over the last twenty years. Three things stand out about him:

  1. He is passionate about finance. He always knows the latest financial news and corporate deals and brings these topics up in class. His enthusiasm in the classroom is infectious.
  2. Shane has a great grasp of financial modeling. He knows all of the ins and outs of the DCF, LBO, and comparable firm methodologies.
  3. Shane is supportive. He worked hard to make sure his group members understood the course material in my class.

In sum, Shane is the total package. He is passionate about finance and has the quantitative and communication skills to be very successful!”

Jonathan Clarke
Associate Professor of Finance
Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech

“Shane’s passion for finance extend beyond the classroom and his internship/post-graduate job at Credit Suisse, to the larger Scheller College community. He has been actively involved with the Georgia Tech Investments Committee, most recently serving as president of this over 100 member organization focused on investing the solely student-managed $1.4 million, beating the S&P 500 by 2.73% in his first 6 months. In his prior role as mentorship director, he worked to provide guidance and financial foundations by teaching an analysts class focused on accounting, economics, valuation, and different finance/investing theories. In many ways, one could say Shane is literally “paying it forward.”

Craig Womack
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs
Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech